There are few accidents more frightening than an accident between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle. When a 3,000 pound vehicle slams into a person’s body the results are rarely pretty. Every year this tragedy strikes hundreds of Alberta residents.
If the driver that struck you or a loved one was negligent and at-fault for the accident then you can get compensation for your losses. Our Cochrane, AB personal accident lawyers can help you file your claim and press your case so you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Injuries
Distracted drivers cause many pedestrian injuries. Drivers who text while driving, talk on the cell phone while driving, or even mess with their GPS systems or radios at places where pedestrians are likely to cross cause many of these accidents.
Impaired driving is another common cause for pedestrian injuries. Bad weather, road construction, and a lack of visibility also contribute to many pedestrian accidents.
Many times, drivers do not see pedestrians. This can be exacerbated in cases where pedestrians are walking in places where drivers don’t expect to find them. This is often the case in right-turn accidents.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents often cause the following injuries:
Sadly many pedestrian accidents end in death. When that happens, the loved ones may launch a wrongful death case, which a personal injury lawyer can help with.
Are pedestrian accidents always the driver's fault?
No. While it would be easy to assume that drivers are always the cause of pedestrian accidents, pedestrians are often found to be the cause of accidents.
Remember that pedestrians are expected to follow the law too. When they don’t, then they may found to be at-fault for their own accidents. While they’re unlikely to be sued for the accident, they do have trouble recovering the compensation that will help them manage their losses and injuries.
Alberta is a comparative negligence state. You can sue after an accident if you’re partially at-fault for the accident. Your settlement can simply be reduced by the amount you’re found negligent. For example if you have a $500,000 settlement and are found to be 10% at fault, then your settlement can be reduced by the same amount, leaving you with $450,000.
Ensuring that your case paints your actions in the best possible life and ensuring that you are able to recover as much as possible is one of the ways that your Cochrane, AB personal injury lawyer can help you.
How is compensation determined in a pedestrian accident?
Your settlement will consist of accident compensation for both your economic and non-economic losses.
Your economic losses include medical expenses and projected future expenses. It will also include any new medical equipment you might require.
If you had to miss work because you were recovering from your injuries then this amount also covers lost wages. If you can no longer work because of your accident it will cover loss of earning capacity, which is an amount that is meant to cover what you would have made had you been able to continue to work for whatever period of time you are estimated to have been likely to earn those wages.
Non-economic losses are often known as “pain and suffering” damages. This amount literally compensates you for being in pain and for the psychological damage you’ve taken as a result of your accident.
There is no hard and fast law in Alberta for calculating pain and suffering damages. This is a negotiable amount. Those who have more extensive injuries, have been scarred or disfigured, have lost the use of a limb, or who can no longer engage in the activities they once enjoyed are likely to receive a higher pain and suffering award.
In Alberta, this award amount is capped at $370,000. Your lawyer will try to negotiate that award as high as possible, to the cap.
Both of these amounts together make up the eventual settlement or award from a jury.
Wrongful Death in Pedestrian Accidents
If your loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident and you are the spouse, parent, or child of that loved one then you may be able to recover wrongful death expenses. These include any medical bills that your loved one created before they died, funeral expenses, loss of the loved one’s income, your mental anguish and suffering, and the loss of your loved one’s services and companionship.
In Alberta, the amount that can be set aside for bereavement (mental anguish and suffering) is pre-set. Each living child may claim $49,000. Parents may claim $82,000 divided equally between living parents. A spouse or interdependent partner may receive $82,000.
These pre-set amounts are contingent upon winning a wrongful death case. There are no guarantees. Work closely with a personal injury lawyer to increase your chances of winning your claim. Rest assured that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be looking to reduce the award amount as much as possible, even if that means blaming your loved one for the accident.
How Injured Pedestrians Can Make a Claim for Accident Compensation
While you do have the option of filing the claim directly to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it’s usually more productive to go through a lawyer. The insurance company will take you more seriously. They’ll skip past the common denial and delay tactics. They’re less likely to offer you a low-ball settlement.
You will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you aren’t inadvertently weakening your case by saying or doing something you shouldn’t. You can focus on healing while your lawyer focuses on investigating your case and negotiating your settlement.
Get Help Today
Don’t try to handle your personal injury case alone. Get a risk-free case assessment from the experienced pedestrian injury lawyers at Cochrane Personal Injury Lawyer. Call (403) 237-9777 to get started today. Our caring, responsive lawyers are ready to help you bring your case to a favorable outcome.